Game Change Name Change Game

I am 38 years-old, I have only been married once (technically am married still), but I am on my third last name.

Like a lot of kids, I was given my father’s last name at birth. When I was 21 I gave it back and took my mother’s last name which she had chosen for herself 16 years earlier, after they divorced. When I got married, I took my husband’s last name in a bargain struck to ensure that any boy babies I gave birth to got to keep their foreskin.

Aside from the foreskin issue, I was very ambivalent about changing my last name. The idea of taking a man’s name didn’t thrill my feminist sensibilities, but I wanted to have the same last name as my children, a family name. That part was very important to me.  I liked (and still do) the idea of a couple creating their own new family name; but that idea was a little too west-coast-weirdo for the man I married. So we made a deal that worked for both of us (and for our two intact little boys, I might add).

Unfortunately, that deal was the only thing in our entire marriage that worked for both of us. We separated a year and a half ago and the divorce is pending, any day now… hopefully… soon… please soon. Which means, I need a new name. Yet another name. Much like the house I live in, I hope this name will be my last.

Why a new name, you ask? Well…
1. I really don’t want to have the same last name as my ex– too much bad water under that bridge. It is, however, also my son’s last name, so I plan to keep it as my middle.
2. I don’t want to go back to my maiden name (either one) because they simply do not fit, in the same old unusual ways.
So, I’m left to find something new, something that my boys can share if they choose to. (I don’t so much care about having lineage connected to a name, but I would like some living family connected to it and to me.) Turns out, finding a new name is kinda hard and I’m drawing a complete blank.

Except on facebook, of course. On facebook I am now, Jennifer Sparklebritches. The name has generated a great deal of enthusiasm among my “friends,” but I don’t think it’s a name my boys will want to have. Scratch that. I don’t think it’s a name my boys will want to have, past age 9.

I guess I should be thankful I don’t have any added complications with my situation.

As much as I love Sparklebritches (and truly, I do), I’d prefer to come up with something more meaningful and less silly. But, like I said, I got nothin’. Nada. Zilch. I tried mixing up the letters of my two son’s first names: way too many vowels. I took a vowel out of each name, tried again, and came up with Solate. Jennifer Solate. I admire the utilitarian aspect of it being both a name and a disclaimer (I’m almost never on time), but it doesn’t exactly call to my soul…

Thoughts? Ideas? How does one go about finding a name for herself? Are there rituals I should be doing? Is there a Cosmo-type quiz I can take? Is there an app for that? Give me your ideas in the comment section. Please?



Filed under Entries

12 responses to “Game Change Name Change Game

  1. aliesha

    I simply cannot express in words how much I relate to this struggle of yours…as you may recall, I once seriously considered changing my last name to “Warrior”, which is the literal meaning of my biological dads last name (a last name I never had, from a father I didn’t meet till 23…I couldn’t go through with it). I’m currently “Stilwell”, which was the name I was born with and had till 12, but only on facebook…and something’s stopping me from making it legal…there are no remaining Stilwells…I just feel so disconnected! my daughter is “Smith” from my mothers 1st husband, who she divorced about 15 years ago (and I’ve never seen since), my son is “Miller” from his completely devoted father (his is the only last name that makes any sense at all). legally, mine is “Milligan” from a marriage that ended 3 years ago. I’m at a loss when it comes to the name game. the top runner right now is: Zawsome. as in Aliesha Zawome. go one – say it.yeah that’s right…but really, if you get this one figured out, let me know!

  2. Julie

    FYI, I never stopped calling you Jennifer [2nd maiden name]…. but maybe you should find a word that has to do with humor or comedy. I tried to look one up for you, but didn’t come up with much… I got to an article about obscene greek satyr plays with artwork and decided to quit in case any little people were walking by. You’re welcome to use Hohenemser if you like.

    • Thanks for the good leads and generous offer of your name. I’ve known you for over a decade and still can’t pronounce it without stuttering. 🙂

      • Maybe Jennifer Onion? Because I’m layered and funny? Or Jennifer Juniper so I can claim to be the one the song is about? Or Just Jennifer– the are millions of Jennifers, but Just Jennifer is THE Jennifer… (I might be getting carried away).

  3. I do a bit about having too many names. I’d go with Jennifer Jackman and claim Hugh Jackman as an ex.

  4. Adrienne Happy

    Happy? Hahahahahahah!

  5. Ashly

    I like Solate, if you pronounce it So-latte.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s